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Archive for February, 2007

COMMENTARY: Georgia Tech Newspaper Rejects Ad on Terrorism Project, Video

Posted by kinchendavid on February 8, 2007

By  Sara Dogan

Special to DavidKinchen.com

In a decision that reveals the state of denial on American campuses, the editorial board of the Georgica Tech student paper – The Georgia Tech Technique — has rejected an ad from the Terrorism Awareness Project, warning students about the threat that radical Islam poses to America.

 

 The Terrorism Awareness Project (TAP) is a new national program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. It was launched last week to alert the American public—and particularly American college students—to the threat posed by radical Islam.

 

Titled “What Americans Need To Know About Jihad,” the TAP ad warns students that “the goal of jihad is world domination” and “Jihad’s battle cry is ‘Death to America.’” The ad includes quotes from several radical Islamic leaders such as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who has declared “Our hostility to the Great Satan [America] is absolute. Death to America. I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide.”

 

The Technique ad department initially accepted the ad and processed payment for it. But then the editors got   hold of it and killed the deal.

 

When asked to explain why the ad was rejected, an editor at the Technique declared that it was “hateful,” “offensive,” and “misleading.” In particular, the editor was upset that the ad draws a connection between Islamic radicals and the Nazis. This complaint refers to a pamphlet titled The Nazi Roots of Palestinian Nationalism and Islamic Jihad which is advertised in the ad. The pamphlet describes the role that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the universally recognized father of Palestinian Nationalism, played as a follower of Hitler during WWII.

 

When a representative from TAP offered to alter the ad, the Technique replied that everything in it was offensive and no alteration would help.

 

“The Technique’s rejection of this ad reveals exactly why the Terrorism Awareness Project is needed on America’s campuses,” commented TAP National Coordinator Stephen Miller, who is currently a senior at Duke University. “Universities and Middle East Studies Departments turn a blind eye to the threat of radical Islam, resulting in ignorance and denial. The editors of the Technique claimed that our ad was ‘hateful’ and ‘misleading,’ and refused to print it even if it were limited to actual quotes from radical Islamic leaders. In other words, the Tech editors are simply trying to suppress the truth about the radical Islamic threat.”

 

“The Technique may be in violation of the First Amendment in rejecting this ad,” observed David Horowitz. As a publicly funded journal, the Technique has the right to reject all political ads if it wants to, but it cannot be selective about which point of view it chooses to allow to buy space in its paper.”

 

The Technique is one of 15 college newspapers which have so far been approached about running the TAP ad. Three others universities—Purdue, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan—have rejected the ad, though none have provided reasons for its rejection. The ad has been accepted for publication at six universities, including San Francisco State, Berkeley and Duke.

 

TAP has also produced a short flash video titled The Islamic Mein Kampf which documents the genocidal agendas of Islamic radicals like Iranian president Mahmoud Achmadinejdad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The video was distributed to more than 850,000 individuals across America this week including the entire liberal arts faculties of several universities.

 

The TAP ad and the video clip can be found at http://www.terrorismawareness.org.

                         * * * *

Sara Dogan is National Campus Director of Students for Academic Freedom based in Ballwin, MO (outside St. Louis).

Posted in Guest Commentaries | 1 Comment »

Western Greenbrier County residents are outraged over the potential closure of the magistrates’ office in Rupert.

Posted by kinchendavid on February 7, 2007

Stephanie Ferrell Stover, APRP
Stover P.R. & Publishing
TEL 304-646-3065



 

Rupert resident Drema Shires and other local residents are circulating a petition that will be presented to the Greenbrier County Commission (GCC) at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 8, at 7 PM in the upstairs courtroom at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg. Those wishing to speak out against the move are encouraged to sign up to speak at the meeting.

 

“We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens of Greenbrier County who oppose the removal of the Greenbrier County Magistrates’ Office in Rupert,” the petition states. “We are opposed to the removal of an office of the court, not only because it has been in Rupert since the Magistrate System began in 1976, but because Greenbrier County citizens who elected our commissioners and magistrates were given no consideration regarding the closing of the Rupert office or relocation of this office to a Lewisburg location which would house all three Greenbrier County magistrates.”

 

There are three magistrates, Doug Beard, Brenda Smith and Brenda Campbell in Greenbrier County. Only Beard is housed in the Rupert facility. Speculation is that the hush-hush relocation is due to Beard residing on the eastern end of the county and complaining about the travel back and forth to the western end of the county.

 

Local advocates for the economic development of Western Greenbrier County feel that this is just another ploy to take away much needed agencies and facilities from the western end of the county, cheating citizens of things and means necessary to maintain a positive way of life.

 

Anyone interested in signing the petition to stop the removal can do so at several locations in the western end of the county.  In Rainelle, petitions can be found at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Peking Buffet Chinese Restaurant, Subway, the gas station at Rt 20 & Rt 60, McDonald’s, Hardees, Pizza Hut, J&S Restaurant and K&G Tire. In Rupert, petitions can be found at Lance’s Video Rental, City National Bank, Summit Bank, Dairy Delite, Anita’s Hair Circuit, Value Max, Handy Place, A&A Service Center and Western Greenbrier Senior Housing Senior Center. In Charmco, a petition is located at the Hillbilly Market. In Quinwood, petitions can be found at the B&M Grocery Store and the gas station across the street.

 

The prospective move to a building across the street from the county courthouse is expected to cost more than $3,000 per month in rent. The county magistrates currently rent space from the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) for about $300-$650 per month. Residents are worried that removal of the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, also housed in the Rupert VFD building, is next on the hit list.

 

Shires spoke to each commissioner of the GCC, President Lowell Rose, Betty Crookshanks and Brad Tuckwiller. Tuckwiller told Shires that the magistrates did not feel safe at the location in Rupert and that the move was their way of “making the department more efficient.” Rose reiterated Tuckwiller’s position, Shires said “but was much nicer about it.” Crookshanks, who is also a Rupert area resident, is totally against the move but with the other two commissioners voting against her, she doesn’t have much of a stand.

 

 

Western Greenbrier County residents are outraged over the potential closure of the magistrates’ office in Rupert (cont’d).

 

“The magistrates’ office has been operating efficiently at the Rupert location since 1976,” Shires said, “and I see no reason to move it. It’s not right that they are sneaking around doing this kind of thing without caring about what the people who elected them have to say about it.”

 

It has not been confirmed yet, but Judge James J. Rowe, who is the facilitator of the county courthouse, is expected to have to write to the U.S. Supreme Court to get the move approved.

 

Businesses wishing to allow the petitions to be displayed can do so by calling Shires at 392-6341.

 

Those concerned citizens not able to attend the county commission meeting Thursday can call or e-mail the county commissioners at the following telephone numbers and e-mail addresses:

 

Brad Tuckwiller, 646-8095, brad@jacobsandcompany.com

Lowell Rose, 646-8899, lynnbrook@hughes.net

Betty Crookshanks, 661-5232, bdcrookshanks@frontiernet.net

Greenbrier County Commission Hqs, 647-6699, jajacks@assessor.state.wv.us

 

For those wishing to express their concerns about economic development and other opportunities in Western Greenbrier County contact Stover Enterprises LLC at 304-646-3065 or via e-mail at SFerrellStover@aol.com.

 

 

 

Posted in News, West Virginia | 3 Comments »

BOOK REVIEW: Herman Badillo’s ‘One Nation, One Standard’ Pulls No Punches in Attack on Nation’s Touchy, Feely Multiculturalism, Lax Educational Standards

Posted by kinchendavid on February 6, 2007

Reviewed By David M. Kinchen
Huntington News Network Book Critic

Hinton, WV  – Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, New York City’s City College was known as the “Harvard of the Poor,” relates Herman Badillo (City College, Class of 1951) in his outstanding new book “One Nation, One Standard,” (Sentinel, a Penguin USA imprint, 240 pages, $23.95).

Born in 1929 in Puerto Rico, Badillo came to the mainland without a word of English at his command. He was a product of what he calls the Hispanic “500-year Siesta,” a fact of life that has prevented Latin American nations – with the exception of manufacturing powerhouse Brazil – from achieving their potential. It could be called the reverse of German sociologist Max Weber’s famous “Protestant Ethic” discussed just over 100 years ago in his famous treatise “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.”

Thanks to growing up in non-Hispanic neighborhoods like Burbank, CA and parts of New York City, Badillo became fluent in English – without the crippling effects of bilingual education – which as a liberal Democrat he once embraced.

Badillo could say – like Ronald Reagan – that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party – it left him. In the wake of his work with Rudy Giuiliani’s successful mayoral campaign in 1993, where he contributed the campaign slogan “One City, One Standard,” Badillo changed his registration to Republican, a not unusual situation in the strange world of New York politics – consider the case of current Mayor Mike Bloomberg — but a rarity among Puerto Ricans.

City College, one of the crown jewels of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, and its sister colleges like Hunter College and Queens College, boasts such eminent alumni as polio vaccine inventor Dr. Jonas Salk, civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable and Congressman Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Moynihan – who was a distinguished sociologist – is a particular role model for Badillo, who in the 1960s became the first native of Puerto Rico to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. In his first term as a congressman, Badillo represented a predominantly Greek-American constituency in Astoria, Queens, and he praises the Greek community for preserving their culture while at the same time “participating fully in the life of New York City” as Americans.

Badillo, who went on to become both a CPA and an attorney after graduating from City College, states that City College and CUNY in general once had higher admission standards than Harvard – and the quality of its graduates was living proof.

All this changed beginning in 1969, when radical black and Hispanic students took over CUNY headquarters and demanded “open admissions” to CUNY. Badillo relates in this memoir that is also a call for higher standards in education and political discourse that the caving into the demands of the radicals destroyed the reputation of the CUNY system. Only after Badillo and others began working to restore the reputation of the system in the 1990s did the CUNY system recover from this decline.

Badillo confirms many of my suspicions that higher education has declined since he – and I, who graduated 10 years after he did, in 1961 – attended college. Much of this is due to grade inflation, but lower admission standards and various forms of affirmative action that were supposed to help under-served minorities have had the opposite effect by depriving many poorly educated blacks and Hispanics of a meaningful and valid college degree.

Badillo points to other American groups that have faced discrimination (Pages 27-28) — including Jews and Asians – and how their dedication to education – and especially their parents’ faith in study and learning – made these groups achieve the highest levels in America.

“The primary determinant of any immigrant group’s success or failure in America is its attitude toward education,” Badillo writes. “American Jews and Asian immigrants have succeeded because both of those cultures place an enormously high value on intellect, educational diligence, and hard work.”

He might have added black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, including retired Army General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. It’s a truism that blacks from Jamaica and other English-speaking Caribbean nations place a tremendous premium on “educational diligence” and hard work.

On pages 28 and 29, Badillo writes that even in the “dysfunctional” school system of New York City, Asian kids are the achievers of today: “Gotham’s elite high schools – such as Stuyvesant High School and Bronx High School of Science – have substantial Asian populations.”

Kudos to Badillo for bringing this to light in this outstanding book, which bears the intriguing subtitle of “An Ex-Liberal on How Hispanics Can Succeed Just Like Other Immigrant Groups”: It’s something I noticed from my 16 years in California, a state with an abysmal history of discrimination toward Asians, including those from China and Japan.

Despite this history, Asians are the highest achievers in the Golden State — a state that has the economy of a major nation. Silicon Valley without Asians – including many from India — would be a shadow of its impressive presence today.

Hispanics who buy into the value of education are also achieving much throughout California and the Southwest. One of the most impressive speeches I’ve heard in five decades of journalism was at a 2004 seminar in Houston, where I heard former Clinton cabinet member – and former San Antonio mayor — Henry Cisneros speak on housing for lower income groups. For another take on Cisneros, read (Page 168) Badillo’s account of President Bill Clinton’s use of then Housing and Urban Development Secretary Cisneros to aid in the failed re-election of NYC Mayor David Dinkins in 1993.

I’d like to see Badillo elected President of the U.S., although I have a feeling he’s backing Rudy Giuliani. At another 2004 journalism seminar, this time in the late fall in New York City, I listened to Giuliani address a standing-room only audience of urban planners and developers. I must say I was impressed with his eloquence.

Speaking of Giuliani – who contributed the foreward to this book – here’s the assessment of “America’s Mayor” of Badillo’s book: “The greatest lesson of Herman Badillo’s story is that the genius of American life — the upward ladder of opportunity that American freedom at its best provides — is better at solving most any problem than any government program.” Wise words, indeed!

I recommend “One Nation, One Standard” to all those who believe that politicians can recognize the error of their ways and return to the straight and narrow path of righteousness.

About the Author: Herman Badillo is a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute. He is, in addition to being a former congressman, a former deputy mayor of New York City; a former borough president of the Bronx and chairman of the board of the City University of New York.

Publisher’s web site: http://www.penguin.com

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COMMENTARY: China-Taiwan Divides the Caribbean

Posted by kinchendavid on February 2, 2007

By Sir Ronald Sanders

The continuing dichotomy within the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) over the Peoples Republic of China and Taiwan could begin to hurt the grouping which has been unable to establish a joint policy toward China, now the fourth largest economy in the world and growing fast.

Belize, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and St Kitts-Nevis continue to recognise Taiwan while the rest of the CARICOM countries have diplomatic relations with China.

This division within CARICOM has kept the development of a trade, aid and investment policy for China off the agenda of CARICOM Heads of Government even though China is now involved with the region in a number of ways including as a lending member of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

It is a favourable mark for China that even though it is unhappy about the continuing recognition of Taiwan by the four CARICOM countries, it has not sought to block their use of its CDB funds.

The Chinese position is a stark contrast from the position taken by the US In 1979 when the New Jewel Movement seized power in Grenada and the US broke off diplomatic relations. Washington had laid down a condition to the CDB that Grenada could not access US funds. The importance of China in the world and its potential value to CARICOM countries was underscored recently by two events. First, China’s foreign exchange reserves, already the world’s largest, have passed $1-trillion (U.S.). The central bank said its reserves stood at $1.0663-trillion at the end of December, up more than 30 per cent from one year earlier, making China the first country officially to top the $1-trillion mark. Second, the World Tourism Organization has announced that by 2020 China will be the fourth-largest source of global leisure travelers. But with the mountain of money on which it is sitting and the need to spend it, the Chinese government has already begun easing currency controls. They will be looking for ways to invest and spend much of it. Recently tourists from China have officially been allowed US$5,000 to travel, though Chinese officials say that the figure is higher than that. Now, it is likely that the government may increase the travel allowance permitting tourists to travel farther. Several Caribbean countries have already been given “approved travel destination” status. These are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

This gives them a head start in trying to grab a meaningful share of the market. But, they are up against serious competition from the United States, European Union countries such as the UK and France, Canada, Australia and South-East Asian nations who are already gearing for Chinese tourists.

To get a share of the market, CARICOM countries will require not only joint Caribbean planning, marketing and alliances with airlines and tour operators in China, it will also need the help of the Chinese government to provide incentives and maybe even transportation.

It is the kind of help that could come out of a Joint CARICOM-China Trade and Investment Commission that meets regularly to explore the potential for mutually beneficial relations and puts machinery in place to achieve it.

Incidentally, and not unimportantly, China could also be encouraged to contribute to the Regional Development Fund which is so vitally important to the development of the Caribbean Single Market (CSM) that was formally launched by CARICOM countries in 2006.

The Chinese government has shown no reluctance to be active in the Caribbean, and officials in China would undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to map out a joint strategy for China’s involvement in the region, as they have done in Africa.

In November 2006, China hosted a meeting with leaders of 48 African countries at which the Chinese President announced that by 2009 China will double the assistance given to Africa in 2006 in an effort to forge a new type of strategic relationship and strengthen cooperation in more areas and at a higher level.

The prospect of a similar summit between CARICOM Heads of Government and the Chinese President is dim unless one of two things happen: Either, the four CARICOM countries that recognise Taiwan alter their policy and join the others in establishing diplomatic relations with China, or agreement is reached that the others are free to establish a Joint Trade and Investment Commission with China under the umbrella of CARICOM but excluding the four if they so wish.

The continuing links by the governments of Belize, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines to Taiwan is understandable. They have received considerable help from the Taiwanese who continue to invest in their economies – particularly in areas where traditional donors and lenders have shied away.

But a structured regional relationship on trade, aid and investment with China, which is now indisputably an economic giant and which could offer much to the people of the Caribbean, ought not to be delayed.

* * *

Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation who publishes widely on Small States in the global community. He is a regular contributor to Huntington News Network. Responses to: ronaldsanders29@hotmail.com



Posted in Guest Commentaries, Travel | 1 Comment »

New Terrorism Awareness Project Aimed at College Campuses

Posted by kinchendavid on February 1, 2007

            (New website: http://terrorismawareness.org/islamic-mein-kampf )

The David Horowitz Freedom Center announced Feb. 1, 2007, that it has launched a Terrorism Awareness Project to combat the complacency and disinformation in American universities about the intentions of the radical Islamists who escalated the holy war on the United States and the West on September 11, 2001.

 

“If one thing was clear in the aftermath of the attack, it was this: the terrorists would be back,” said Stephen Miller, a senior at Duke University who was just named the Project’s national coordinator. “But because of the campaign by the “anti-war” movement, our populace as a whole is ignorant of the threat, doesn’t know the enemy, and is unaware of its true intent, capabilities and resolve.  This is especially true of college students who face a daily barrage of anti-war and anti-American propaganda.  The Terrorism Awareness Project is designed to make them aware of the threat of jihad and the struggle that lies ahead if this nation is to survive.” 

 

The first action of TAP will be the distribution of a flash movie called The Islamic Mein Kampf which documents the Nazi roots and genocidal agendas of Islamic radicals like Iranian president Mahmoud Achmadinejdad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. An ad “What Every American Needs to Know About Jihad” is being distributed to college newspapers across the country.

 

             The Terrorism Awareness Project will put informative materials about the war on terror into the hands of millions of college students, including videos and pamphlets.          The focal point for the campus campaign will be Terrorism Awareness Month, when the Project’s campus coordinators will distribute a guide providing a brief history of the jihad against America and a bibliography of crucial books on the objectives of radical Islam.  There will be documentary films on jihad and panel discussions of experts on radical Islam.  TAP chapter members will evaluate the Islamic or Mideast Studies departments of their campuses, analyze the bias of the reading materials and classroom discussions, and ask to present competing ideas in class. They will conduct an organized public relations campaign with their campus newspapers, including opeds and letters to the editor.

 

           “That there is such ignorance and denial about terrorism on our campuses is mind boggling,” says Project Coordinator Miller. “The terrorists will attack us again. The only questions are Where? and When?”

 

The Terrorism Awareness Project

www.terrorismawareness.org

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BOOK REVIEW: Columnist, Educator Edith Lank Puts Some Fun Back Into Real Estate with ‘I’ve Heard It All and So Should You’

Posted by kinchendavid on February 1, 2007

Reviewed By David M. Kinchen
Huntington News Network Book Critic

Hinton, WV  – Real estate is no laughing matter for most folks: It’s deadly serious – too serious. Now comes real estate columnist and educator Edith Lank with “I’ve Heard It All and So Should You: Confessions of a Real Estate Columnist (Dearborn Real Estate Education, Chicago: 250 pages, $22.39 paperback) to put some laughter back into the subject.

As fans of the 1929 Marx Brothers comedy “The Cocoanuts” (about the Florida land boom and bust of the 1920s) know, there’s a lot of humor in housing. Lank, based in upstate New York and the author of eight previous books on real estate – all serious tomes – looks at the lighter side of property in a book that collects letters and emails from her syndicated column – a column that appears in more than 100 newspapers and web sites.

Think Ann Landers or Dear Abby and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Edith (I can call her that because I’ve known her and husband Norm and their son Avi for years from my membership in the National Association of Real Estate Editors) is up to in this entertaining and informative book.

Yes, humor can be informative, because a funny book with real-life situations is an excellent teaching tool. Edith Lank, a former real estate broker, has written textbooks on real estate law in New York and New Jersey and has taught pre-licensing classes for prospective real estate agents.

Down through the years, buyers and sellers have asked Edith Lank questions that they’re too embarrassed to ask their own agents. She shows that situations that might seem obvious to the experienced broker or sales person are not necessarily all that obvious to lay people.

Here are some samples from the book:

* “…please send all information on how to sell our home without using a realator. I think you call it being a FSOB…”

* “Would adding extra to our mortgage payment save us money in the long run? If so, should we pay extra on principal, interest or escrow?

* “I would appreciate any information on Fanny Mae. Also if she has any books out…”

* “Hello Edith: I don’t know what to do. First of all I’m incarcerated and the reason is my husband, well x-husband was sleeping around with my best friend and I walked in on them in our home and lost it with a golf club…”

* “Forgive the ‘Dr. Laura’ nature of this letter. Recently my fiancée allowed a friend of hers to rent a room from us while she gets her life back on track. The only lease is a verbal agreement, and her rent is a token amount. However, I’m growing tired of her lifestyle with a steady stream of men entering our house….how do I go about removing her with no written lease?”

* “Dear Edith: My daughter recently bought a home and is interested in how to pay it off so she will save as much as possible. I saw an account in your column but forgot about it and used it to wrap some jars. I would like you to send me a copy so I can give it to her.”

Edith notes in her delightful, informative book: “At least she didn’t use it to wrap fish!”

If you think you know a lot about real estate, think again. You don’t know Jack compared to Edith Lank. But after reading her new book, you’ll be both entertained and educated. It’s an unbeatable combination.

About the Author: Edith Lank’s real estate column has won awards for journalistic excellence and consumer education from the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the Real Estate Educators Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, various Bar Associations and NAR. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Minnesota Public Radio, Public Radio International, has hosted her own television and radio shows and is heard weekly on public radio at WXXI-FM in her hometown of Rochester, NY. Edith has taught real estate at the college level for 15 years, and her work has been published in many national magazines. Edith is a past director of the National Association of Real Estate Editors and also of the Real Estate Educators Association.

Publisher’s web site: http://www.dearbornRE.com

 

Posted in Books, Real Estate | 3 Comments »